People all over the United States have become more frustrated as police officers use their firearms in situations where deadly force is not necessary.
Incidents where two police officers in Columbia, South Carolina shot black suspects had protesters asking for their resignations and additional actions to be taken by the local government.
Angry residents look for answers after two officers shot suspects without being disciplined
The demonstrators were gathered outside of the Columbia police headquarters chanting slogans about terminating the officers involved in the shootings from their positions. Their frustration stems from the fact that the two white officers who had shot black men in the past year were not disciplined adequately. The police building is located on Washington Street in downtown Columbia.
The shooting happened in August of the prior year. A 29 year old black male was stopped in Columbia for a routine traffic stop. When the officer asked the suspect to get out of the car, the two began to argue and their confrontation became physical. The suspect attempted to drive away, but the officer shot him in the back of the head, also crashing the vehicle. The suspect did survive the shooting with only injuries.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the officer would not be charged criminally. However, the victim did retain his own lawyer to file a civil case against the city and the department.
The second incident involved a 17 year old black man, who local police claim had been reported trying to break into cars in a neighborhood. The officer on the scene eventually shot the suspect, and he claimed that the young man was armed. He was cleared of any wrongdoing by his superiors at the police department.
Local news coverage estimated that about fifty demonstrators had gone to the headquarters to demand that the officers be fired and then prosecuted. Many had initially gathered near the Richland Library on Assembly Street.
One of the attendees with a megaphone said that the current police chief should not be re-elected if he overlooks this serious incident.
When police use their firearms at inappropriate times
Officer involved shootings are a source of police brutality that often ends with a suspect dying rather than having their day in court. Officers are trained regarding use of force protocols, and they are normally restricted from using their firearms unless the suspect presents an immediate danger to the lives of the police or others nearby. In most arrests for non-violent crimes, there is no legitimate reason to fire a weapon.
Injury attorneys in the Columbia area
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